The father presses his baby’s chest with two fingers. It’s not breathing anymore. When the emergency doctors reach the baby, they take over. Defibrillator, breathing mask, pads, they put everything on the cot. “Let the hospital know” – and then the scene is over. Because the doctors and nurses only played through the situation in order to prepare for an emergency. At Klinikum Höchst, they train in caring for seriously ill children and infants.
The two-day course, called “Pediatric Advanced Life Support,” takes place in the hospital’s simulation center. Along with the Sana Klinikum in Offenbach, the clinic in Höchst is the only center that offers these courses in the Rhine-Main area. In regular training courses, for example on work in the shock room or resuscitation, the participants learn how to deal with medical emergencies. It is not necessarily about imparting technical knowledge, but about practicing working together in a team.
Crucial team dynamics
No doctor learns how to lead a team during their studies, says the medical director of the simulation center, Ralf Menzel. The focus of the exercises is therefore on the cooperation between the participants from different departments. The team dynamic is crucial, especially in such stressful cases.
“A child in the trauma room is a very rare situation. On a day-to-day basis, we rarely work with the children’s hospital, but when we do, it has to work very well,” says Marius Mehling, an anesthesiologist’s assistant. He is one of the eight participants, almost all of the residents at Klinikum Höchst. They work in the children’s intensive care unit, in pediatrics and in anesthesia. The interfaces should be linked with each other – this helps with good emergency care.
When time is of the essence: this is how hospital staff in Höchst train for emergencies
After repeating the theoretical content, you go to the simulation institute. There, the participants are assigned a role: they become team leaders, recorders and observers, are responsible for ventilation or carry out resuscitation. They rotate through all functions so that everyone knows all the tasks and knows where things can get difficult. This is especially helpful in stressful situations.
Speed and precision required
Course leader Felix Fausel repeatedly throws medical terms into the room and gives values while the participants practice resuscitating the baby. The cardiac massage is in progress, then the patient needs medication – how high can the dose be? “Forty percent of all errors in anesthesia are dosing errors,” says Felix Fausel.
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The participants have to adapt quickly to the situation and at the same time work precisely – that’s not always easy. After the training, the observers tell the rescuers what they noticed. Good that the colleague was addressed by name – bad that the dosage of the drug was not safe. With this feedback, doctors can better care for their patients and work together.